Archive for November, 2013|Monthly archive page

No More Long Johns

In On the river, Uncategorized on 30/11/2013 at 14:54


I left Foscue creek and headed south. Next stop was Kemps landing.


As I went through the Demopolis lock it was 25 degrees and you can see the the fog coming off the lock walls. This stuff froze and fell as very tiny sleet on my boat.



The next 10 miles looked like white chalk and pines. It was very calm for a change and the water was really flowing over the Demopolis dam.



Here are two deer swimming the river. they turned back halfway and it’s a good thing because the other side was a 40 foot bluff.


This a picture of the remains of the Rooster Bridge. In 1979 when the water was 59 feet above normal pool a tow boat was swept under this bridge with the water about 3 feet from the roadway. The tow was flipped on it’s side and actually righted itself and kept floating. People on the shore were ready to see three crewman go down with the boat. They all lived with only minor injuries.


As you can see the SOG or speed over ground shows 10 mph. I am running 2200 rpms and usually this will give about 7.5 mph. This boat has never gone  10 mph unless it was dropped from a crane.


I think this can is going about 9 mph


Frost covered at Kemps Landing


The Tom Bigbee River to me looks a lot like the Ohio only the water has that clouds in your coffee thing going.


This is Bashi Creek. This is one of those few anchorages along the waterway. The water was backed up because of the higher water in the river. There was a lot debris going back and forth in the creek. By the morning the water had dropped and the creek was clean as a whistle.


Ahead is an actual hill. One of three along the whole route from here down.



My stop today is the famous Bobby’s Fish Camp. I had to get off the boat. I had been on the boat for a week all except 20 minutes at Demopolis Marina. Bobby has passed but the family runs it. I got fuel for the generator. I got some water and later I am going to have catfish in the restaurant. It’s a little pricey at $1.50 a foot with no showers but they are truly the last stop before Mobile 119 miles away.

They are very friendly and helpful and you feel at home right away They are even trying to find a pipe wrench so I can stop the leak from my packing nut. By the way my anchor light is dead. You think they could make something that could be outside for twenty eight years and would not wear out. Now that is cynicism. I rigged something up to get safely to Mobile

Tomorrow I go through the last lock of the  “ dirty dozen”. When I go through I will be 4 feet above sea level and subject to the ebb and flow of the tide from Mobile bay along with the water dropped over the dam.

Well time for an adult beverage and then some grub.

We’ll talk when the next cell signal allows.

Dr Brad standing by on 16.

This Weather is a Turkey

In winter in the south on 27/11/2013 at 07:32


AP Demopolis Al.

Reports have come in from river travelers near Demopolis Lock and Dam that freezing temperatures and high winds are causing travel to be unsafe. George the monkey mentioned at 6:00 AM CST.


“I ain’t leaving this heater for nothing no how.” he was quoted as saying yesterday afternoon as the winds gusted to about twenty five miles per hour and temperatures started to drop.


He recommended Foscue Creek and the Coast Guard Station to hunker down as he put until thanksgivakhah and then move on in the sun and lighter winds the next day. Many captains are taking his advice partly due to a dead cell and hotspot zone for the next 75 miles. Afternoon rain mixed with wind made only the foolish remain on the water.


As he steered Dr Brad into the safety of the station and a good anchorage. He was heard saying, “ This is safe but the average temp this time of year is 60 degrees. This sucks.”


This is Dr Brad reporting live from the Black Warrior section of the canal for the Associated Press.

Standing by on 16 and scanning all emergency weather radio traffic.


I am Somewhere and Just Have Two Locks to Go

In On the river, Uncategorized on 25/11/2013 at 15:48


I am anchored at Rattlesnake Bend at mile marker 223. 225 is exactly half way between the Tennessee river and Mobile Alabama. I have dodged the rain so far so I pushed for 48 miles today. Got thru Heflin lock quickly and pumped the engine to 2200 RPM and here I am.  Here is the Day in pictures.


Sunrise at Sumter




There was a sofa at the top of this 100 foot cliff. The proverbial catbird seat.


The white bluffs


My gosh there every where



Make them stop that

Well there you go.That’s today. I am going to have a Canadian and water. Remember I am only drinking things that start with w. The rain just started. Great timing.

Dr Brad standing by on 16.

Mile Marker 270 from Nowhere but Three Locks and I’m Out

In long haul, winter in the south on 25/11/2013 at 06:58


Man… I haven’t posted for about ten days. The weather has been somewhat brutal. The barge traffic has been somewhat brutal at Fulton  Lock. The last two days have been freezing and rain is coming for two days. I , as you may guess, am at mile marker 270 on the Tenn-Tom waterway. I have had to stop at marinas for 4 days. Two days at midway and Two at Columbus both where planned for fuel and supplies. The 2nd day at midway was due to heavy barge traffic through Fulton.

I have had 10 – 15 mph winds since 11/20. After I left Columbus Marina thru Stennis lock the river is all new to me. I have  done 9 locks on this waterway and three to go until Mobile and open water. As mentioned every one has been with a 10-15 mph tail wind and it’s looks like Gainesville Lock will be no different tomorrow.

I had made a trip line as I mentioned before but gave it up after last night. The line got wrapped around the anchor over night as the boat drifted. Nothing like untangling an anchor line in twenty degree temps and 15 mph winds. Throw in wet gloves and it gives you a reason to live. As I have said before I love so!

I have been busy with the whole deal and have not taken a bunch of pictures but here are a few.


This is an eagle who kept me company at Midway Marina for two days


These guys have followed me most of the Tennessee River. You can’t ditch the ghost of Columbus. The Niña or Pinta ?


A brief three hours in the morning before the wind picks up

snag boat

Snag boat Montgomery just above Bevill Lock. I did not take this picture because I blew by on the way into the lock. You can find anything on the internet.


This is what lock water looks like with a stiff tail wind. You had to be there.


Looking’ serious


First sight of Spanish moss

And for you people that are just into the blog for the sex


This was a real ad. You can find anything on the internet.

Well that’s it for now.

Dr Brad standing by on 16

Slow Boat to Mobile

In Don't waste poverty, winter in the south on 15/11/2013 at 09:00


The lesson today kids is that if you have 250 dollars until December third you anchor out a lot. After I left Florence I took three days to go 50 miles. I had a doctors appointment in Corinth which meant two days in a marina and a few gallons of fuel.

I stopped and spent a night at Bear Creek.


Sunrise at Bear Creek

I spent two night at Wetstone


I left Grand harbor for the last look at the Ohio River watershed on 11/12. I hit Bay Springs Lake 38 miles down the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. I am 412 miles from Mobile Alabama.

I am still here at Bay Springs and it is a beautiful place to spend a few days. This a pretty place but alas no cell service in most of the anchorages. What a great opportunity to learn some important things about yourself.

My anchor got hung up when I had to reset it and as usual there was 30 minutes of  @#$%#@%&% and then relief. After three years on the water I decided to make a trip line. This is a line tied to the front of the anchor and attached to a float so that if the anchor gets hung up you can grab it with a boat hook pull it up and use the line to pull the anchor out backwards.

The last few days have also been record low temperatures. Got the long handles out known up north as long under wear or long johns. Ran the the old Honda and the electric heater but it has to go off at night so carbon monoxide doesn’t get you. Temps went down to 22 degrees and the cabin to 38 degrees. This was like old times coming down the river. The condensation freezes on the inside of the windows. God I love it so. The challenge, the risk, the chance to look at yourself face to face under crappy conditions.

I decided to spend yesterday looking for a Wi-Fi Hot Spot. I found one at an anchorage I used two years ago. The lake and the anchorage have that Michigan look with sand and hardwood.

I spotted a Common Loon probably migrating from the Great Lakes to the coast. They will get there a few days ahead of me.




Not bad huh….

Front comes in tomorrow and rain is following. Midway Marina with great hot showers is 20 miles and three locks down. Winds will come up 15 mph out of the south so a decision will be made early in the A.M.

That’s the skinny. Now for a late breakfast.

This is Dr Brad standing by on 16.

This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Three Years Ago Today

In long haul, Uncategorized on 07/11/2013 at 08:08

I launched my Macgregor on this day in 2010. I have traveled a little 0ver 4000 miles on the Ohio, Cumberland, Tennessee, Little Tennessee, and the Tom-Bigbee waterway. Some of these repeatedly. I encourage you to check the archives.

first four days 032

first four days 022

Day one and 35 pounds heavier

This morning I am in Florence Harbor. I left Joe Wheeler embayment yesterday at sunrise and Headed south. My goal was 47 miles. I got hung up at Wheeler and had to wait with a good 20 mph wind out of the southeast. after 60 minutes of taking a beating standing post on through we went. I got hung up at Wilson for 2 hours again taking a beating, thus Florence harbor

Not many photos of the last couple of days because of the wind all day. Hard to roll with the rollers and take pictures. My left hand was on the grab rail most of the time.

I got this great picture of clouds coming over me from my stern. Imagine standing under a piece of glass and having paint poured over the top.




port-pretty Groovy huh.


The biggest drop in America. The Wilson Lock.

Well I am outta here for now. I have until Sunday to go about 50 miles. I already used one marina day and I will anchor out until then.  I also blew some money on some fried mushrooms.

Happy birthday Barb.

Dr Brad standing by on 16

Fall Backward Toward Florida

In long haul, On the river on 04/11/2013 at 15:11

Day One 11-3-2013

Left Goose Pond Marina about 8:30 am and headed toward Honeycomb Creek just above Guntersville Lock and Dam. Beginning a long trip to Florida back the way I came up the river last spring.


Down the river


Beautiful sunny day


Honeycomb creek looking toward river

Day Two

Left Anchorage about 6:30 am and headed toward the Lock about 1.5 miles Down stream. Wind whipped up out of the East Southeast about 10-15 mph. I headed toward the lock with the wind directly at my stern and as I approached the lock The wind was also blowing directly straight into the lock. It was like a wind tunnel with rollers as soon as the lockmaster opened the gates to let me into the chamber. I blew by the first bollard at idle. I slid down the lock wall and had to keep the boat in reverse and then reverse idle to tie up.

Got through the lock and shot down the river above my hull speed at about 9.5 miles and hour. Got back to about 8mph at 2000 rpms and settled in for a nice day.


Sunrise leaving Honeycomb


Bluffs along the river


Me, not just a handsome stranger


Bluffs with morning fog

Finally stopped at Limestone Creek. The river is down about 3 feet from the last time I came through in May. The place is still beautiful with wildlife everywhere.


Limestone Creek anchorage


View from boat at anchor

That is it for now. Tomorrow I head toward Joe Wheeler Park and some very nice possible anchorages. I’ll be in touch.

Dr Brad standing by on 16

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